Dele Alli, the Everton midfielder, made a startling revelation about himself.
He revealed that he was molested by one of his mother’s friends at the age of six.
Alli also said that he started dealing drugs as a teenager and was sent to Africa to learn discipline.
Speaking with Gary Neville on The Overlap, the former Tottenham Hotspur star gave an insight into some of the disturbing incidents that have affected both his life and career.
“[My childhood is] something I have not really spoken about that much, to be honest,” Alli said.
“So, at six, I was molested by my mum’s friend, who was at the house a lot. My mum was an alcoholic, and that happened at six.
“I was sent to Africa to learn discipline, and then I was sent back. At seven, I started smoking, eight I started dealing drugs.
“An older person told me that they would not stop a kid on a bike, so I rode around with my football, and then underneath, I would have the drugs, that was eight. Eleven, I was hung off a bridge by a guy from the next estate, a man.
“Twelve, I was adopted – and from then, it was like – I was adopted by an amazing family like I said, I could not have asked for better people to do what they would do for me.
“If God created people, it was them. They were amazing, and they have helped me a lot.
“I tried to be the best kid I could be for them. I stayed with them from 12 and then started playing first-team, professionally, at 16. It all sort of took off from there.”